|Hande Hoche if you're a hamster in disguise!|
But last night, the inevitable happened: Nibbles, the hamster, escaped.
The Vet, who is getting married on Saturday incidentally, phoned with some notes for me. As the phone started ringing, I had the tremulous golden one in my hands. I gingerly lifted the phone and whispered to the Vet that I was just going to put the hamster back in his cage. Which I did. And closed the lid. I did. Honestly.
Cut to two hours later when I'm on Twitter and wishing that I'd put a lamp on because I'm tweeting in the pitch dark and its resulting in some pretty interesting spelling errors.
Anyhoo, Tertarus appears in the doorway: 'Please tell me you've got Nibbles up here?'
I wave jazz hands at him in the dark: 'No. Why would I have the hamster up here? Please tell me you're just taking the piss...he's in his cage, isn't he? ISN'T HE???'
Hestia flew downstairs and hauled the front off the cage. The little bastard was GONE.
'Where can he be?' I wailed, facially adopting a rough approximation of Edward Munch's The Scream.
Tertarus got a torch out of the tool cupboard (see: overly-organised men) and we fell to our knees making the little cheeping sound that we make when we've got food for him....but, reader, our house is a Victorian pile with gaps in the skirting boards that the entire German Army could get through, never mind a tiny hamster with wanderlust.
'Was the kitchen door open?' I asked. Tertarus couldn't remember. 'How about the hall door?' If he was in the kitchen, there was a chance we could get him, but if he'd gone out into the rest of the house, he was as good as lost in outer space.
My heart was hammering in my chest. I am the sort of person who buys lost-looking cuddly toys at jumble sales because someone loved them once; the thought of my darling little hamster trundling himself between my cavity walls, alone, for EVER, was unbearable.
'I am not going to bed until Nibbles is found,' I stated flatly. Tertarus handed me a torch: 'Best get looking then,' he said, grim-faced.
For fifteen minutes I crawled, peered and climbed around the back sitting room...a stalk of flat leaf parsley clutched in my panicked paw (Nibbles's favourite) and then a FLASH of gold in the shoe cupboard as the hamster scurried behind the folded up wall-papering table.
Tertarus muscled in, pulling out boots, wellies, a mirror (don't ask, please), a picnic basket and finally.....a small golden hamster.
We tipped him carefully into his cage and padlocked him in with a key-ring. He ran straight up his tunnel and into his bed, eyeing us mutinously from behind his parsley stalk.
'Are you going to tell Sonshine what happened?' asked Tertarus replacing all the boots and shoes in the cupboard. 'Got to,' I said. 'He needs to know that Nibbles is a bona fide escape artist now.'
We went up to bed. Nibbles not only padlocked into his cage, but also with a place mat and a heavy bag of hamster food on top.
'Our hamster is Steve McQueen in The Great Escape,' grinned Tertarus with a newfound respect for the Golden One.
Secretly I thought of him more as short-sighted little Donald Pleasance ...... but shhhh, what's that noise? Is that the sound of a baseball being bounced off the inside of a hamster cage?
|Hande Hoche! Put your paws up if you're Steve McQueen!|